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LACI’s Incubation Cohort 3 Pilots Announced

In October 2021, LACI welcomed eight promising cleantech startups to its first Incubation Cohort Pilots program funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE) EPIC Program. EPIC Program. Each of the participating startups received $20,000 to design and deploy small-scale pilots to demonstrate their technologies and hone their business models. Startups pitched their business models to LACI and LACI’s EPIC Pilot Partners. As a result of that pitch session, each was paired with one EPIC Pilot Partner who provided pilot design and site guidance, technical advice, and financial assistance as needed. 

Through the collaborative effort of LACI’s Incubation Pilots program, most of these startups have already experienced their first taste of success. Following is information on each startup and its respective achievements to date, within the program.

EPIC Pilot Partners who have agreed to be a site host and/or mentor for the 2022-2023 Pilot Phase of the Incubation Program include California Energy Commission (CEC), LA Metro, Pando Populus, Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), Edison International, LA County, Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), and the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP). 

Pilot

Pilot Description

What they do: Delphire helps prevent or contain wildfires by providing actionable real-time information from remote locations.

Their successes from the program: Delphire was accepted into the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center’s Summer 2022 Milestone Makers cohort

Delphire was asked to speak at an On Demand webinar titled A Fire Safe Culture Continuum: Blending investment, technology and expertise to transition from reactiveness to a culture of wildfire safety.

Delphire secured grant funding for SBIR grant Phase 1, and applied for funding under Phase 2.

What they do: Testing demand forecasting software with or on the La Kretz Innovation Campus’ mobility microgrid

Their successes from the program: Energos was named on the 2022 Diamond List of impactful climate companies.

Energos is currently raising a $2-3M Seed Round. 

What they do: Evolectric is a technology company that converts commercial gas-powered vehicles into electric ones — and gets them back on the street. Their approach reduces emissions and waste and accelerates deployment of zero emission vehicles.

Their successes from the program: Evolectric was accepted into the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center’s Summer 2022 Milestone Makers cohort.

Evolectric won the Circular World Challenge by AB InBev. They received the  golden ticket to this year’s 100+ Accelerator cohort which guarantees a pilot with at least one of the Accelerator partners (AB InBev, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Colgate).

The Evolectric team was featured during the Schwarzenegger Institute’s 20th Anniversary celebration of AB1493, California’s Clean Car Standards, showcasing their mission and core technology. 

The Evolectric team and truck was featured during the visit that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S Congressman Jimmy Gomez made to LACI to celebrate the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act.

Evolectric was featured in the Climate Council article The North American clean tech companies driving the energy transition.

What they do: Deploy smart light switches, which encourage residents in affordable housing to reduce energy use at key times. 

Their successes from the program: Flick developed a second generation wireless prototype device for trial and reached agreement with Southern CA Edison to support an expanded trial of their technology. They presented this to the Consulate General of Lithuania and Vice Minister of Energy during a visit to La Kretz Innovation Campus in late May.

What they do: Demonstrating scaled-down version of tech in a pool

Their successes from the program: Joule has made significant progress on the development of its proof of concept prototype and expects to be in pilot metrics mode by August.

What they do: MeterLeader gamifies saving energy in homes by using real-time utility data and behavior science principles. They help companies engage their employees in reducing carbon emissions at home and we help them report those reductions for ESG purposes. MeterLeader is like a Fitbit Corporate Wellness Program, but instead of steps we measure kWh, therms, and carbon emission reductions. 

Their successes from the program: MeterLeader participated in the Stanley-Techstars Accelerator based in Baltimore, MD. They are currently working to execute 3 new Corporate Energy Challenge Pilots. MeterLeader also increased the number of utility data streams with which it can integrate, advancing from integrating with 3 electric and gas utilities to 12.

 

What they do: Validating business case by analyzing samples from CA desalination plants for saleable minerals

Their successes from the program: Olokun Minerals was named on the 2022 Diamond List of impactful climate companies.

Olukun Minerals finished its first round of lab samples for the EPIC pilot.

What they do: Zero waste design and manufacturing company focused on upcycling and repurposing cross-industry materials destined for landfill.

Their successes from the program: Rewilder produced 1,200 backpacks for the Summit of the Americas 2022.

Rewilder received media recognition in Shoutout LA and Association Now and was featured in a news segment on Spectrum TV.

Launched TEE2.0! in collaboration with UPRISERS, a new kind of t-shirt that creatively reuses existing tees. Currently testing a new upcycling process to generate material as an alternative to virgin fabric during  LACI’s Pilot. 

 

LACI looks forward to seeing startups in the DOE-funded EPIC Program Cohort 1 (LACI’s Incubation Cohort 3) grow and scale their companies with the goal of helping them secure their first customer and celebrate successful follow-on funding equity rounds. We also look forward to hosting the pilots and EPIC Pilot Partners at LACI’s Power Day event on October 6, 2022.

TEP Partner Spotlight: Electrify America

With over 30 partners in the Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP), we are fortunate to
have a partner that is investing deeply in the LA region, focusing on direct-current fast charging, and is approaching
the work holistically with a virtual power plant. Electrify America LLC has been a member of
the Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP) since 2020. As the largest open DC fast
charging network in the U.S., Electrify America is working to enable millions of Americans to
discover the benefits of electric driving and support the build-out of a nationwide network of
ultra-fast community and highway corridor chargers that are convenient and reliable. Through
an investment of more than $2 billion over 10 years in zero emission vehicle infrastructure,
education and access, Electrify America is making bold moves to ensure a zero emissions
future. As we push forward with our TEP goals set forth in the Roadmap 2.0, Electrify America’s
work to expand the charging network is critical.

Collaboration is Key
One of the ways Electrify America is able to expand its reach is through collaborations with
industry leaders. For example, Bank of America and Electrify America recently announced plans
to more than double the number of financial centers equipped with EV charging stations by the
end of 2023. As of the beginning of this year, 172 Electrify America individual EV chargers have
been installed at 46 financial centers – totals the companies intend to grow to more than 350
chargers at over 90 financial centers by the end of 2023.

Additionally, BMW of North America and Electrify America publicized an agreement this year to
provide 2022 BMW EV customers with two years of 30-minute complimentary charging sessions
at all Electrify America public charging stations, from the date of vehicle purchase. With no
additional cost to the vehicle’s purchase price, customers can receive immediate access to
complimentary charging at more than 3,500 Electrify America chargers across the U.S. Electrify
America has announced other customer charging agreements with companies such as Audi,
Ford, Kia America, Volvo, and more. By providing this resource to new EV owners, Electrify America is incentivizing potential customers and helping to make EVs a more attractive option.

Through bold initiatives like this, Electrify America has helped move the needle and encourage
the adoption of EVs. In 2021, they provided 1.45 million customer EV charging sessions, which
highlights the rapid deployment of its charging stations across the United States. By
comparison, the company recorded 268,000 customer EV charging sessions in 2020. This
impressive change shows the increasing popularity of their services, making it imperative that
the country is able to keep up with demand.

Going Bigger
Building on Electrify America’s first successful Green City program in Sacramento, the company
is now also working with Long Beach and Los Angeles city officials as well as private fleet
operators, owners and collaborators to implement projects focused on charging electrification
for public transit and heavy-duty electric vehicles, showcasing ultra-fast charging technology,
and energy management for these two emerging use cases. Efforts are focused on tackling
medium and heavy-duty emissions in the Long Beach and the Wilmington neighborhoods of Los
Angeles.

Additionally, Electrify America and NFI Industries revealed plans for the nation’s single largest
charging infrastructure project to support heavy-duty electric trucks, with 38 ultra-fast DC
chargers slated for completion by December 2023 to support 60+ battery-electric drayage
trucks.

Powered Up
As Electrify America continues to grow its network, providing electricity to increasing numbers of
chargers will require massive amounts of energy. To address this, Electrify America has entered
into a 15-year virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with developer Terra-Gen to build a
solar photovoltaic renewable energy generation project in San Bernardino County, California
called Electrify America Solar Glow™. The new solar project is expected to generate 75
Megawatts of 100% renewable energy annually at peak production, the equivalent power usage
of more than 20,000 average American homes, or an estimated annual production of 225,000
Megawatt hours. It is projected to produce enough 100% renewable energy annually to more
than offset the energy currently delivered on an annualized basis to Electrify America’s
customers charging on its extensive network and is targeted to be operational by mid-2023. This
groundbreaking project will ensure that Electrify America’s extensive charging network will be
supported by renewable energy and has helped the company become North America’s largest
open DC fast charging network to enter into a virtual power purchase agreement for new
renewable energy generation.

As we draw closer to the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games, it is vital for us to make bold
moves and lead the way towards a cohesive, accessible zero emissions transportation system.
Through close collaboration and strong leadership, we will shape the future of transportation to
become a more accessible, zero emissions system that will serve as a model to the rest of the
world.

– Shevonne Sua, LACI Transportation Program Coordinator

The Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP) is an unprecedented regional public-private
collaboration to accelerate deep reductions in climate and air pollution by the time of the 2028
Olympic and Paralympic Games. All of our partners have committed to work individually and
collectively to pursue policies, pilot projects, and other actions that are equity-driven, create
quality jobs, grow the economy, and help the region reach the bold targets in the TEP’s Zero
Emissions 2028 Roadmap 2.0.

 

 

Speaker Pelosi, Rep. Jimmy Gomez Celebrate Historic Climate & Clean Energy Provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act

LOS ANGELES, CA – Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) in the Arts District to highlight the Inflation Reduction Act’s impact on clean energy production and transportation electrification to fight the climate crisis.

The Inflation Reduction Act represents the single largest investment in climate action in American history. Analysis from organizations such as Energy Innovation and the Rhodium Group find that the climate provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act, including the used clean vehicle and home energy savings tax credits championed by Rep. Gomez, would put the United States on a path to meeting its climate commitments by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030.

“It’s impossible to overstate how transformative the Inflation Reduction Act is, particularly on climate action,” said Congressman Gomez (CA-34). “I am especially proud to see one of my bills that became law, the Affordable EVs for Working Families Act, encourage local organizations such as LACI to work with clean energy partners to bring our nation closer toward a greener and more prosperous future. This law would single-handedly create 9 million good-paying jobs over the next decade and put our country on track to meet our nation’s climate goals. I want to thank Speaker Pelosi for her leadership in getting this life-changing legislation across the finish line for America’s families and for the next generation.”

“It was a privilege to join Congressman Jimmy Gomez at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, seeing firsthand how clean industries are powering prosperity in our communities,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.  “Thanks to President Biden and Democrats in Congress, the Inflation Reduction Act is turbocharging clean energy innovation here in California and across the country – putting America on a path to saving the planet while creating millions of good-paying jobs.  House Democrats are grateful for the persistent leadership of Congressman Gomez, who helped lead the charge to secure historic investments in energy efficient homes and vehicles.  Working together, we will not relent until we achieve a safer, greener, healthier future for generations to come.”

“We are grateful to Speaker Pelosi and for Congressman Gomez’ leadership in ensuring the IRA not only is the largest climate bill in history, but is a targeted investment in ensuring every American can access clean energy, retrofit their homes, and drive an EV,” said Matt Petersen, CEO of LACI. “In April 2020, LACI’s Transportation Electrification Partnership proposed a federal $150 billion stimulus to boost electric vehicle manufacturing, expand zero emission infrastructure, provide low income families access to mobility, and promote EV-related workforce development. Thanks to the President, the Speaker and bills like Rep. Gomez’ Affordable EVs for Working Families Act, it is gratifying to see so many of the proposals become law including the used EV tax credit and investing in producing critical minerals from places like Lithium Valley.”

Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator Launches First In Nation Cleantech Loan Fund To Accelerate Equitable Climate Action

New LACI Fund to Provide an Affordable Alternative to Venture Capital For Startups; By Not Requiring Personal Collateral or Credit Scores, LACI Aims to Help Underrepresented Founders in Particular Overcome Historical, Institutional Barriers to Access to Capital

The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) announced the launch of their nationwide LACI Cleantech Debt Fund, a first-of-its-kind green loan program to scale early stage cleantech startups and accelerate equitable climate action. 

The $6 million fund will provide loans of $25,000 to $250,000 to an estimated 100 early-stage startups over five years, providing a non-dilutive alternative to venture capital for companies that need financing to support their first customer orders or working capital to scale their businesses. LACI endeavors to help underrepresented founders–in particular female, Black, and Brown founders–overcome some of the institutional and historical barriers they face in accessing capital to grow their business. Unlike most traditional bank loans, the LACI Cleantech Debt Fund will not require founders’ personal collateral or their personal credit scores in underwriting.

LACI created the Cleantech Debt Fund in partnership with anchor investors Sobrato Philanthropies and Homecoming Capital, who are aligned in their missions to support more entrepreneurial innovation to address climate challenges. Additionally, the Wells Fargo Foundation is providing a grant to cover initial operating costs and loan loss reserves.

“To help cleantech startups move at the speed and scale needed to meet the climate crisis, we created the LACI Cleantech Debt Fund as a new tool to give early stage cleantech founders a timely, affordable alternative to expensive venture capital and slow moving bank debt,” said LACI CEO Matt Petersen. “The LACI Cleantech Debt Fund will also help reduce barriers to capital for underserved founders from historically underrepresented communities–too many founders cannot access traditional bank financing as they lack adequate personal assets, or the personal networks needed to secure early stage investment.”

“We need lots of approaches to innovation to address our current climate challenges, and we’re excited to partner with LACI to fill a capital gap that will enable more companies, from more regions and founder backgrounds, to access investment for their growing businesses.” said Victoria Fram of Sobrato Philanthropies and Pat Arnold of Homecoming Capital. “LACI along with Greentown Labs, Evergreen Climate Innovations, and New Energy Nexus are well-positioned to source a diversified pipeline of entrepreneurial solutions, and we’re glad to partner with them as co-investors.”

“To scale a company like ours and keep creating jobs, you need funding that isn’t easily acquired by minority owned businesses,” said Josh Aviv, CEO and Co-Founder of SparkCharge, a portfolio company of both LACI and Greentown Labs, which received an initial loan from the LACI pilot debt fund. “LACI’s Cleantech Debt Fund helps level the playing field, reducing the financial risks and truly enabling businesses to thrive. They are incredible partners who understand the challenges startups face.”

“We are excited to have the Wells Fargo grant play a catalytic role in attracting other sources of capital to the new LACI Cleantech Debt Fund,” said Ramsay Huntley, Climate and Innovation Strategy Lead at Wells Fargo. “So many businesses will benefit from LACI’s commitment to climate equity and their ability to identify companies ready for greater investment. This fund represents a shared belief that entrepreneurs motivated by climate action have the power to make an impact even early in their business journey.”

“The scaled-up LACI Cleantech Debt Fund is paramount to giving our founders choices across the full capital stack, with debt on the one hand via this innovative fund and equity via the LACI Impact Fund on the other,” said LACI SVP Alex Mitchell.

LACI is also partnering with a limited network of leading incubation organizations whose portfolio companies will be eligible to qualify for loans from the Cleantech Debt Fund, including Greentown Labs (Boston, MA & Houston, TX), Evergreen Climate Innovations (Chicago, IL), and New Energy Nexus (Oakland, CA & New York, NY). LACI selected Impact investment firm Mission Driven Finance of San Diego, California to assist with loan origination and servicing, as well as supporting underwriting. Mastercard’s Racial Justice Pro Bono Program–which is a part of Mastercard’s In Solidarity initiative to drive racial equity and create equal opportunities for all–consulted on the Fund model.

After LACI conducted US DOE-funded research validating the need for early stage lending for cleantech startups, the organization piloted the debt fund concept–capitalized by a Wells Fargo Foundation grant–by underwriting loans totalling more than $300,000 to nine startups. The pilot debt fund has had zero defaults and no late payments, and included loans to SparkCharge, Envoy, and others (see below for examples). LACI first shared their DOE-funded research and commitment to creating a national cleantech debt fund at the Clinton Foundation economic conference in November 2019.

The LACI Cleantech Debt Fund joins the LACI Impact Fund I and non-dilutive pilot funds as capital for which LACI incubated startups are eligible to apply. After nine quarters of investing, the $5 million LACI Impact Fund I is nearly 100% deployed and has made equity investments in 15 LACI startups. The LACI Impact Fund empowers LACI founders to grow their early-stage cleantech companies, including ChargerHelp! CEO Kameale Terry which has gone on to build a nationwide network responsible for maintaining 30,000 EV charging stations while ensuring their technicians earn a minimum of $30 per hour with a guaranteed 40-hour work week. LACI is now out to market in raising LACI Impact Fund II.

Sample LACI Pilot Cleantech Debt Fund Recipients

Initial LACI’s pilot debt fund loans to startups include:

SparkCharge:  SparkCharge received a $40,000 low-interest loan for their on-demand mobile electric vehicle charging solutions. The company leveraged the funds to help scale operations, hire 40 employees, including a graduate of LACI’s Green Jobs Workforce Training Program, and develop the Roadie Portable EV Charging System. The loan from LACI’s Debt Fund also enabled SparkCharge to raise nearly $24 million in additional capital through equity and debt funding. On March 1, 2022, after the recent launch of SparkCharge’s Currently app, Kia America and Currently announced a partnership that provides EV owners with on-demand concierge service, allowing them to charge their EVs when and where they want.

Envoy: Envoy, a provider of shared, on-demand, community-based EV’s, also leveraged the LACI Debt Fund to grow their business. LACI selected Envoy to operate a pilot community car-share program for residents of the Housing Authority of City of Los Angeles’ (HACLA) Rancho San Pedro public housing complex. The program not only delivered the benefits of electric vehicles and mobility to this historically underserved community, LACI used the pilot as a model for the EVs For All Act introduced by Congresswoman Nanette Díaz Barragán (CA-44). Barragán worked closely with LACI to develop the Act. If passed, the bill will establish a $50 million annual grant program at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to support EV car sharing and charging stations, community education and outreach, and other services for public housing residents to increase access to mobility solutions in transportation deserts.

About LACI

The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is creating an inclusive green economy by unlocking innovation through helping scale cleantech startups, transforming markets through catalytic partnerships like the Transportation Electrification Partnership, and enhancing communities through green workforce training and pilots. Founded as an economic development initiative by the City of Los Angeles and its Department of Water & Power (LADWP) in 2011, LACI is recognized as one of the top 10 innovative business incubators in the world by UBI. To date, LACI has supported 315 startup companies that have secured more than $695 million in funding, generated more than $308 million in revenue, and helped to create an estimated 2,480 jobs with a long-term projected economic impact of more than $555 million.

About Sobrato Philanthropies

Sobrato Philanthropies’ investment in LACI’s Cleantech Debt Fund was committed by John A. Sobrato. Sobrato Philanthropies’ mission is to partner with communities to meet immediate needs, address systemic barriers, and pursue social justice to build a more equitable and sustainable world. Guided by the business philosophy and personal values of the Sobrato family, three generations engage in grantmaking, advocacy, impact investing, and collaborative efforts to create impact locally and around the world.

About Homecoming Capital

Homecoming Capital is a climate-focused investment firm that invests in businesses that decarbonize the economy as they grow. Homecoming’s investments span North America and Europe and support businesses driving decarbonization of the energy, transportation, industrial, and agricultural sectors. For more information, please visit www.homecomingcapital.com.

LACI Launches Campaign Urging California State Legislature to Increase Funding for Zero Emissions Transportation of Goods; Campaign Reinforces Budget Request from Southern California Coalition of Mayors, Ports, Labor, and Environmental Groups

The Proposed Increased Investments will Help Meet Transportation Electrification Partnership’s Zero Emissions Roadmap Targets to Reduce Pollution by 2028 Olympics; investments Key to Creating Jobs, Growing the Economy, and Protecting Public Health While Reducing the Largest Source of Air Pollution in Greater LA

LOS ANGELES, CA, May 24, 2022 – Today the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)–convenor of the Transportation Electrification Partnership–launched a digital campaign to reinforce the budget request from a coalition led by the Mayors and Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, labor, environmental justice and environmental organizations, and LACI. In a recent letter, the coalition–which also includes International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union locals, Southern California Edison, EarthJustice, and a broad swath of environmental advocates–urged the California Legislature to increase State funding for the adoption of zero emission transportation of goods.

Forty percent of the nation’s goods enter through the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles which serve as an enormous source of economic activity and jobs, while also generating the single largest source of air pollution in the region. Southern California continues to be home to the worst air quality in the country. That’s why the Transportation Electrification Partnership – with over 30 public and private sector members – has set bold targets to reduce air and climate pollution by the 2028 Olympics, including ensuring 40% of the short haul drayage trucks are zero emissions and 60% medium duty last mile delivery trucks are electric.

The campaign, anchored on a digital ad “Solutions”, urges California Legislators to invest additional funding in zero emissions solutions that can clean up Southern California’s air, while creating good paying green jobs and keeping the region’s economy and goods moving.

In a letter to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Legislative Budget Chairs, the coalition called for a $3.31 billion investment to accelerate the adoption of zero emissions drayage trucks and cargo handling equipment at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. The request in the letter builds on Governor Newsom’s proposed budget by adding an additional $900 million for truck incentives via HVIP and CORE and additional $225 million for drayage trucks and charging, including a $100 million carve out for charging infrastructure along the I-710 where BEV drayage trucks are beginning to operate with more BEV truck models coming soon from OEMs.

“We applaud Governor Newsom’s historic climate and zero emission transportation budget priorities,” said Matt Petersen, LACI CEO and Chair of the Transportation Electrification Partnership. “Given the unprecedented state budget surplus, we urge the legislature to make additional investments in accelerating truck and port electrification—in particular focusing on the most critical goods movement corridor in the state and nation, the I-710–that will pay economic, health and environmental dividends for our region and provide an example for other port regions throughout the country and around the world.”

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About The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)
The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is creating an inclusive green economy by unlocking innovation through helping scale cleantech startups, transforming markets through catalytic partnerships like the Transportation Electrification Partnership, and enhancing communities through green workforce training and pilots. Founded as an economic development initiative by the City of Los Angeles and its Department of Water & Power (LADWP) in 2011, LACI is recognized as one of the top 10 innovative business incubators in the world by UBI. To date, LACI has supported 315 startup companies that have secured more than $695 million in funding, generated more than $308 million in revenue, and helped to create an estimated 2,480 jobs with a long-term projected economic impact of more than $555 million.

Congresswoman Barragán and LACI Tout “Ev’s For All Act” To Bring Ev Car Share and Charging To Public Housing Residents Nationally, Join Residents In Highlighting Benefits From LACI Zero Emissions Car Share Pilot At Rancho San Pedro

Barragán and LACI CEO Matt Petersen Urge Passage of HR 6662 to Increase Access to EVs and Charging in Neighborhoods Facing Disproportionate Air Pollution such as from diesel trucks moving goods from the Port of LA; LACI’s EV car share pilot created to address equity while accelerating regional progress toward the Transportation Electrification Partnership’s 2028 target

May 6, 2022,SAN PEDRO, CA – Congresswoman Nanette Díaz Barragán (CA-44), author of the EVs For All Act (HR 6662) that would provide residents of 50 public housing projects nationwide with access to zero emission cars and charging infrastructure (alt. stations), joined San Pedro constituents and Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) President and CEO Matt Petersen to see first-hand the innovative EV car-sharing program that inspired her legislation, and to advocate that everyone, regardless of income, must be included in the electric vehicle transformation.

During Rep. Barragán’s and Petersen’s tour of the Rancho San Pedro EV Car Share Program, they spoke to residents about air quality and transportation issues they face, and how the successful pilot program developed by LACI facilitates residents’ mobility and helps them cope with high gas prices. LACI created the EV Car Share pilot to find ways to increase equitable access to EVs and charging while accelerating progress toward their Transportation Electrification Partnership’s targets to achieve by the 2028 Olympics, including getting 30% of the cars on the road across LA county to be EVs and 40% of the drayage trucks serving ports to be zero emissions.

“My constituents in Rancho San Pedro public housing are overwhelmingly burdened by toxic air pollution due to their proximity to the Port of Los Angeles, oil refineries, and transportation corridors with heavy truck traffic.” said Congresswoman Barragán. “We know the future is zero emissions, but without the right investments, low-income communities are at risk of being left behind. This community deserves clean air and affordable zero emission transportation options that will also result in more clean vehicles on the roads in their community.”

“Many communities of color face disproportionate air pollution yet completely lack access to EV charging
infrastructure or electric vehicles,” said Matt Petersen, LACI’s CEO. “To achieve the Biden Administration’s
commitment to Justice40, we need to scale models like LACI’s EV car share pilot that brings EVs and charging to disadvantaged communities. I am proud that Rep. Barragán’s EVs for All legislation is modeled on LACI’s pilot we created with and for the residents of Rancho San Pedro.”

The EVs for All Act, H.R. 6662, would authorize up to $50 million in annual appropriations from 2022-2031 for a new grant program with the Department of Energy in coordination with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Transportation (DOT). The bill would help public housing authorities and local governments invest in electric vehicles (EV), EV charging stations, community education and outreach, and other services and incentives to provide access to EVs in underserved communities.

H.R. 6662 is aligned with the Biden-Harris administration’s Justice40 Initiative, a commitment to invest 40% of the federal government’s investments in climate and clean energy in disadvantaged communities.

The Rancho San Pedro EV Car Share is a 12-month pilot program created by LACI in partnership with the
Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), Envoy and Nissan. The program, which has now been
extended indefinitely by HACLA and to which LACI will soon add an e-bike share, provides two EVs for residents to rent for $3 an hour, along with dedicated spaces for charging, and access to HACLA Community Coaches who conducted outreach, enrollment, and training. Residents use these cars to get to work, grocery shop, run errands, for doctor appointments, and to visit family.

At the news conference, residents told the dignitaries and media that having access to the shareable EVs has
made their lives easier. Beatriz Mendez, a driver user of LACI’s EV Car Share pilot at Rancho San Pedro says, “I was the first one at Rancho San Pedro to try the EV and I was amazed at how efficient it was to use it to go to the doctor and go shopping, to be able to drop the kids off at school. We need to make sure something like this is available nationwide.” She went on to share, “We are very mindful of the impact of climate change and pollution from the ports and refineries. So every time I used the EV, I was very aware of how this was bringing a healthier and more sustainable option for me and for the community around here. I’m really happy about that.”

“The combined efforts of our community coaches have led the drivers of Rancho San Pedro to embrace the idea of electric cars. Residents now understand and appreciate that having these zero emission solutions reduce pollution in their community. It’s both affordable and convenient as well. The Housing Authority and the residents of Rancho San Pedro are very fortunate to have this program here and we look forward to the opportunity to expand it.” added Margarita Lares, Chief Programs Officer for the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), and LACI EV Car Share Pilot partner.

LACI is accelerating transportation electrification in the Los Angeles region through pilots and policy, as well as incubating startups and training individuals to join the green workforce. Barragán’s office worked closely with LACI to develop the legislation. “The success of our clean energy future requires that every resident, regardless of income, is included in the electric vehicle transformation,” Congresswoman Barragán said. “The EVs for All Act would provide resources for low-income residents in my district and around the country that are often left out of climate solutions. Congress must lead the way in ensuring that everyone has access to electric vehicles and clean air, including people who can’t afford to own a car.”

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About LACI: The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is creating an inclusive green economy by unlocking innovation through helping scale cleantech startups, transforming markets through catalytic partnerships like the Transportation Electrification Partnership, and enhancing communities through green jobs workforce training and pilots. Founded as an economic development initiative by the City of Los Angeles and its Department of Water and Power (LADWP) in 2011, LACI is recognized as one of the top 10 innovative business incubators in the world by UBI. To date, LACI has supported 315 startup
companies that have secured more than $695 million in funding, generated more than $308 million in revenue, and helped to create an estimated 2,480 jobs with a long-term projected economic impact of more than $555 million.

LACI welcomes eight game-changing cleantech startups to Incubation Cohort Four

LACI kicked-off the fourth cohort of its Incubation program by welcoming eight promising cleantech startups to its growing portfolio.

In keeping with LACI’s mission of creating an inclusive green economy, the Spring 2022 cohort is a diverse mix of members from underrepresented communities including women, black and brown entrepreneurs, LGBTQ+ and veteran founders. Cohort 4 technology sector composition features a powerful 50% Clean Energy, 25% Circular Economy, and 25% Zero Emissions Mobility startups.

Circular Fashion LA founder Karri Ann Frerichs is one of the eight entrepreneurs accepted into the program. A graduate of LACI’s Founders Business Accelerator, the startup was ready to advance their circular economy fashion solutions. By focusing on specific materials and replicable design processes, Circular Fashion LA can satisfy customers’ desire for newness and individuality in their wardrobes and home decor while eliminating waste and leaving nature to regenerate itself.

 

Bluedot is also a new member of LACI’s Incubation 4 startup portfolio. Bluedot is dedicated to providing smart electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions for smart cities and SME owners. They redefine the EV driver experience and reshape the way private and corporate fleet companies join the e-mobility movement by introducing innovative and profitable charging infrastructure for businesses of all sizes and engaging EV drivers with service providers. Co-Founder Selinay Filiz Parlak is a recent winner of the Women4Climate Lisboa 2020.


During LACI’s two-year Incubation program, startups develop their technologies, secure funding and financing, access customers and markets, test and pilot their solutions, and unlock their full potential.
Additionally, each startup team is matched with an Executive-in-Residence (EIR) who provides support in developing a roadmap to track, measure, and execute key milestones, and introduce founders to valuable business, community and funding partners. Startups in the Spring 2022 cohort will build a network with their fellow cohort members and with the greater LACI ecosystem, to foster a collaborative and supportive community for achieving growth and contributing to the global transition to zero emissions and an inclusive green economy. 

Meet the eight exciting and innovative startups that will be part of LACI’s Incubation program for the next two years:

  • Ashipa: Ashipa Electric develops renewables-based microgrids and software solutions to revolutionize the bidirectional interaction between utility (water, gas, and electric) consumers and producers.
  • Bluedot: Bluedot is a digital banking card for electric car owners. Bluedot offers a one-tap point of purchase solution for auto-related expenses and charging and cash back points for driving, charging, shopping, and dining.
  • Circular Fashion LA: Circular Fashion LA creates customizable and unique clothing and home goods on a mass scale using only post-consumer and post-industrial textile and clothing waste.
  • Clew: Clew is a countertop food waste recycling appliance that conveniently grinds, heats and dries food into a shelf-stable fertilizer that turns waste into a valuable resource. Clew’s mission is to provide tools and education for people to expand their knowledge of resource management and connection to the environment.
  • CZAR-Power: CZAR-Power is an Army veteran and MIT PhD-led cleantech company building a fully integrated energy platform. CZAR-Power combines software with multiple, traditionally expensive, cleantech power electronics like solar inverters and electric vehicle fast chargers, into one powerfully simple system.
  • facil.ai: facil.ai provides an artificial intelligence based solution to optimize energy use, resulting in a low cost, easy to install, rapidly scalable, and simple to use facilities solution.
  • GenH: GenH is a next-generation clean energy technology development company that has created a first in class, rapidly deployable, and modular hydropower system, Adaptive Hydro™. Adaptive Hydro™ is designed to electrify non-powered dams and canal heads without construction or investment in fixed infrastructure.
  • Portable Solar: A novel use of thermoplastics technology to produce PV panel mounting systems that replace traditional racking systems and enable assembly and placement of a ground-based solar generation system without the need for specialized skills. (Connection is completed by an electrician.)

These inventive startups will join a powerful and deeply connected community of 315 diverse LACI founders and alumni who are making an impact – like SparkCharge, ReWilder Goods, and ElectricFish.


U.S. Secretaries of Energy and Labor Tour Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) to Showcase Startup Innovation and Green Jobs, Highlight LACI’S Model Accelerating Transportation Electrification

Secretaries Granholm & Walsh Joined by Members of Congress Meet LACI Start-up Founders & Green Workforce Graduates, Learn more about LACI’s Transportation Electrification Partnership

 

Los Angeles, CA, April 21, 2022 – Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh put a spotlight on Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator‘s leadership in creating an inclusive green economy through startup innovation, workforce training, and transportation electrification.

Led by LACI President and CEO Matt Petersen and joined by Congresswomen Linda Sanchez, Judy Chu and Norma Torres, as well as LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis, the two Cabinet secretaries talked with LACI startup founders and green jobs training graduates, while also learning about LACI’s groundbreaking Transportation Electrification Partnership. In 2021, LACI won two related US Department of Energy grants, including $1 million from DOE OTT EPIC for startup innovation through startup pilots, as well as $3.6 million from DOE VTO to increase the use of EVs for commercial delivery building on LACI’s Zero Emissions Delivery Zone pilot in partnership with the City of Santa Monica. LACI has also presented recommendations from the 2021 Green Jobs Report (i.e. renewing green job tracking and definitions at the federal level) to Secretary Walsh’s senior staff.

The Secretaries discussed with LACI staff and entrepreneurs how the Biden Administration is fostering innovation through its Bipartisan Infrastructure law and a series of executive orders to grow the economy and restore America’s economic leadership in addressing the climate crisis. 

“LACI is proud to host Secretaries Granholm and Walsh to showcase our entrepreneurs and programs, as well as highlight the work we have done with the Departments of Energy and Labor,” Matt Petersen said. “LACI is truly a national model for creating public private partnerships that move us towards a more inclusive green economy by accelerating equitable climate action. It says a lot about the importance of our work in Los Angeles that two Cabinet Secretaries wanted to see firsthand the ways in which we are unlocking innovation that will transform and grow our economy into a model of clean energy and equity for all.”

“What is really unique about LACI is that they are on both sides of the equation: Incubating these businesses and training the workforce for these businesses, with a lens of equity,” said Energy Secretary Granholm. “We want people to see the great opportunity in clean energy as a future. Those who are working in oil and gas, they have powered our nation for 100 years and we are grateful. But we want them to see themselves as powering our nation for the next 100 years as well, in clean energy. We know that the clean energy economy provides all kinds of jobs for people in all pockets of America.”

“Today we saw what is really required for a true clean energy transition. It requires innovations, investment, community engagement and especially workforce training. We saw today at LACI that it is possible to address the climate crisis in a way that expands opportunities,” said Labor Secretary Walsh. “The jobs the LACI’s startup companies are creating by developing and deploying technologies to make our communities healthier and stronger are great models that need to be deployed across the country. The possibility of creating good jobs for workers in communities that have been shut out in the past is the future that the Biden Administration is investing in and that LACI is demonstrating is absolutely achievable.”

 “Without the work of LACI, without pilot funding, without being able to present our concepts to funders, ChargerHelp! would not be in 11 states expanding to 50 states. Charger help would not have 35 employees. ChargerHelp! would not be a black owned company that has raised 4.25 million in venture capital,” said the startup company’s CEO, Kamaele C. Terry. “Let’s offer hope: the opportunity to create a new workforce, a workforce that’s okay with getting dirty, and a workforce that’s okay with plugging in a laptop computer.”

“On behalf of LACI’s partners in the public and private sectors, I want to thank Secretary Granholm, Secretary Walsh, and the Biden Administration for their commitment to act on climate, the support of cleantech entrepreneurs and growing the green workforce, and embracing the critical role of zero emission transportation,” Petersen concluded. “We look forward to doing more to help advance climate equity and the Administration’s Justice40 commitment, such as through the EVs for All bill that LACI is sponsoring in Congress.”

The tour took the officials through La Kretz Innovation Campus—owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power—in the Arts District in downtown Los Angeles, which is LACI’s home. The tour included a stop at LACI’s Advanced Prototyping Center where graduates of LACI’s innovative job training program shared their professional accomplishments and successes in green economy careers. On the tour, the Secretaries and members of Congress met the founders of Automotus, ChargerHelp!, ElectricFish, Electrum (formerly PickmySolar), Hive and URB-E.

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About The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)

LACI is creating an inclusive green economy by unlocking innovation by working with startups to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies; transforming markets through partnerships with policymakers, innovators, and market leaders in transportation, energy and sustainable cities; and enhancing communities through workforce development, pilots, and other programs. In the last ten years, LACI has helped 315 portfolio companies raise $695 million in funding and create over 2,480 jobs in the LA region, with a projected long-term economic impact on the LA region of more than $555 million dollars.  Founded as an economic development initiative by the City of Los Angeles and its Department of Water & Power (LADWP), LACI is a non-profit recognized as one of the most innovative business incubators in the world by UBI. Learn more at laci.org.

TEP Partner Spotlight: East Bay Community Energy

As the only Northern California-based member of the Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP), East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) plays a unique role in shaping our work within the Greater Los Angeles region and applying their learnings throughout the state. EBCE is the second largest Community Choice Aggregation provider in California, a public agency Joint Powers Authority (JPA), and the default Load Serving Entity formed under Assembly Bill 117 (2002). Governed by a 15-member Board of Directors consisting of elected officials from each of its JPA member communities in Alameda County and the City of Tracy (San Joaquin County), EBCE meets the electricity needs of over 60,000 commercial and industrial accounts and serves all residential accounts representing 1.7 million people. EBCE is also tasked with the development and management of energy related climate programs, including transportation electrification initiatives, that help their local government JPA member achieve local and state greenhouse gas reduction goals.

Participating in TEP since early 2020 has enabled EBCE to establish new strategic relationships with a variety of stakeholders including industry players in the medium- and heavy-duty goods movement sector that have a footprint in northern and southern California. This truly unique and dynamic partnership between TEP and EBCE enables market acceleration of zero-emission transportation statewide.

Light-duty EV Charging

One key area of focus for EBCE is light-duty electric vehicle charging. EBCE’s transportation electrification team has conducted an analysis to understand homecharging access throughout their service territory and identify critical disparities that could hinder widespread EV adoption. EBCE identified that in Alameda County alone 47% of the population are renters and 90% of all multifamily housing properties with 5+ units are 50 years old or older, which means that electrical capacity upgrades will  be likely across this building portfolio. Those upgrades are the property owner’s responsibility and not the tenants (e.g., key barrier to deploying Level 1 and/or Level 2 charging to enable home charging). Because those upgrades cannot occur quickly at the scale needed to meet the state’s goals, EBCE is prioritizing deployment of reliable, convenient, and cost-effective public fast charging options near where renters live to ensure all residents in EBCE’s service area can join the transition to EVs.

One such example is the Alameda County Incentive Project (AICP), which recently provided $17.3 million in incentives for publicly-accessible fast charging and Level 2 infrastructure. Co-funded by the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) Electric Vehicle Incentive Project (CALeVIP) and EBCE, unique requirements of the program included allocating budget specifically for fast chargers that had to be located in areas EBCE identified as multi-unit dwelling “hotspots”. EBCE was also able to change the CEC’s CALeVIP rules for multifamily property Level 2 charging incentive “adders,” opening the door for any affordable multifamily provider, regardless of whether their property was in a disadvantaged community or low-income census tract boundary, to have access to this beneficial funding.

Another example of EBCE’s commitment to making the transition to EVs more accessible is their expanding fast charging network. EBCE’s equity-based strategy is focused on developing large fast charging hubs, owned by EBCE, in its multi-unit dwelling hotspots. This will eliminate charging deserts and provide access to charging for all, faster. EBCE’s first project is on the border of West Oakland and downtown in a municipal parking garage. Once built, it will be the largest fast charging hub in Oakland and 2nd largest in Alameda County with 17 dual port fast chargers. The garage is within 2 square miles of approximately 1,000 multifamily properties with 5+ units. There are currently no fast chargers in West Oakland, so this new hub will be a 100% increase in access to fast charging by nearby residents from baseline.

Medium- and Heavy-Duty (MD/HD) Goods Movement

EBCE’s electrification goals extend beyond the light-duty sector as well, as their service area is among the most strategic trade locations in the U.S. with connections to regional, state, national, and international markets. Alameda County provides most of the fundamental goods movement infrastructure in Northern California, including the Port of Oakland, Oakland International Airport and major freight corridors spanning into the Central Valley. Much of the focus on zero-emission goods movement to date has been centered on drayage trucks specifically operating at ports. However, to comprehensively transition to a zero-emission goods movement economy, EBCE’s lens is beyond port boundaries for deployment of charging infrastructure to ensure all MD/HD stakeholders have access where they need it most.

EBCE envisions an ecosystem of MD/HD goods movement vehicles that will recharge at facilities where they are domiciled, at third-party logistic facilities where they do business, and at convenient common fast charging yards that operate much like a wholesale gas station. Additionally, because origination of MD/HD goods movement vehicle trips is not exclusive to one city and is regional, a comprehensive approach to planning for this transition is necessary to bring the biggest community benefit to vulnerable populations.

Interregional Collaboration

As we push towards an electrified future, interregional collaboration will be more important than ever to ensure that the EV revolution extends beyond the Greater LA area. Through close cooperation, we can learn from other regions and share our own best practices in order to reach our common goals and create a cohesive, replicable system. Through EBCE’s active participation in TEP, we can show the world how collaboration transcends geography as we work towards an electrified California.

– Shevonne Sua, LACI Transportation Program Coordinator

The Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP) is an unprecedented regional public-private collaboration to accelerate deep reductions in climate and air pollution by the time of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games. All of our partners have committed to work individually and collectively to pursue policies, pilot projects, and other actions that are equity-driven, create quality jobs, grow the economy, and help the region reach the bold targets in the TEP’s Zero Emissions 2028 Roadmap 2.0.

Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator Expands Free Zero-Emissions Shuttle Service in Leimert Park

Funding secured by Senator Sydney K. Kamlager also supports creation of LACI satellite green workforce training site in South LA

LACI also announces call for new community pilot program partners for next round of clean mobility projects

 

Los Angeles, CA – In partnership with Senator Sydney Kamlager (D-30), community groups, and local businesses, LACI extended and expanded the Leimert Park neighborhood EV shuttle pilot and announced a request for information to establish a LACI-led satellite green workforce training site in South LA. As of January 31, shuttle operations were expanded to Monday through Friday from 8am to 6pm, Saturday from 10am to 8pm, and Sunday from 9am to 7pm.

“The success of LACI’s Leimert Park EV ride-share pilot with Circuit is an important and impactful demonstration of how communities can model clean energy solutions and support underserved communities with electric transportation,” said California State Senator Sydney Kamlager. 

Joe and Celia Ward-Wallace, Co-Founders of South LA Cafe and 501c3 The SLAC Foundation remarked, “We have been so grateful to have the shuttle in our community! It has allowed local residents to travel to and from our food distribution, The South LA Grocery Giveaway, which takes place every Wednesday and provides food for over 1000 people. Together our partnership has provided access and equity to those who need healthy food options the most.”

With State funding secured by Senator Kamlager, LACI is also identifying a satellite green workforce training hub in South LA for electric vehicles (EVs), e-shuttles, e-bikes, and EV charging stations, and diagnostic tools for hands-on learning, in partnership with LACI startup  ChargerHelp! in anticipation of launching this training program in the fall of 2022.

 

More on EV Shuttle Pilot

The EV shuttle pilot in Leimert Park was created based on community group ideas and needs submitted to LACI through the Zero Emissions Mobility and Community Pilot Project Fund, with the goal of piloting clean and affordable transportation solutions in communities that are most heavily impacted by poor air-quality and lack adequate transportation. LACI has partnered with community groups in three different neighborhoods in the City of Los Angeles, with the added goal of connecting local small businesses with emerging startup technology and transportation options in Leimert Park. Ride On! Bike Shop and South LA Cafe–which both have participated in LACI’s Founders Business Accelerator–have been key partners in the pilot.

The EV shuttle pilot with LACI startup Circuit (which also participated in LACI’s Market Access program tied to making the LA region the epicenter of cleantech and zero emissions mobility innovation) offers both flag down and on-demand mobile app service within the local designated coverage. The program was re-upped in response to early community adoption and high demand, with more than 2,300 (non-unique) riders taking 1,750 trips since pilot inception. Feedback from users and residents was collected to develop the initial service and to implement the new schedule changes to better meet travel needs.  

LACI selected and deployed program technologies after deep community engagement in the Greater Leimert Park Village Crenshaw Corridor community that included outreach to local elected officials, business owners, and grassroots organizations to assess their greatest transportation needs. The program was initially developed in partnership with a number of Leimert Park community partners including: We Love LeimertKOAS Networks / SankofaCity, Ride On! Bike Shop / Co-op, the Greater Leimert Park Village Crenshaw Corridor Business Improvement District (GLPVCC)Community Build Inc.Destination Crenshaw, and the Community Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) / Institute for Maximum Human Potential.

“Creating sustainable clean mobility programs that work for communities is at the very heart of LACI’s ZEV pilot program initiative,” said Matt Petersen, President and CEO of LACI and Chair of its Transportation Electrification Partnership. The success of programs like the Leimert Park EV ride-share pilot demonstrate the value of EV transportations solutions for  community members and a return on investment when projects focus on cleaning our air, supporting the region’s emerging cleantech industry and ensuring that everyone has equitable access to a zero-emissions future. We are proud to be leading equity-based solutions that give people transportation options while reducing L.A.’s carbon emissions.”  

“Los Angeles is leading the path forward toward zero emissions, ensuring that the future leaves no one behind,” said Daniel Kramer, Vice President at Circuit. “LACI’s pilot programs allow us to demonstrate in real time how to make zero-emission mobility options work while meeting important needs for local communities.”

 

More on Green Workforce Training Satellite Location

The training program is designed to create pathways for underrepresented groups to earn high-road green job opportunities. LACI will recruit trainees from the community to participate in their workforce development programs, and place graduates in paid internships where they can apply their new skills with local partner companies. 

 

Seeking New Community Pilot Project Partners

LACI is also looking to partner with additional community organizations across Los Angeles to continue the expansion of pilot programs like the one in Leimert Park.

Another Request for Information has been issued for applications from interested community groups who want to partner with LACI to incubate local zero emission and other cleantech pilots. LACI has recently secured state funding from the California Workforce Development Board to support an additional two to three deployments of zero emission transportation, energy/transportation nexus, and clean energy pilots focused in disadvantaged communities. This RFI will determine the next partners and location for the pilot deployments, which will be designed to increase access to affordable clean transportation and/or clean energy, support local economic and workforce development, reduce GHG emissions, and improve air quality and health for communities. Funding for the pilots will range between $100k – 250k. 

 

About The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)

LACI is creating an inclusive green economy by unlocking innovation by working with startups to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies; transforming markets through partnerships with policymakers, innovators, and market leaders in transportation, energy and sustainable cities; and enhancing communities through workforce development, pilots, and other programs. Founded as an economic development initiative by the City of Los Angeles and its Department of Water & Power (LADWP), LACI is a non-profit recognized as one of the most innovative business incubators in the world by UBI. Learn more at laci.org.